FHFA wants to boost mortgage access to low-income borrowers

by Ryan Smith02 Sep 2014
The Federal Housing Finance Agency says it wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide more support for low-income borrowers.

The FHFA has released proposed goals for the mortgage finance firms as part of agency director Mel Watt’s initiative to increase access to housing, according to a Reuters report.

Under the new goals, Freddie would expand the number of loans it backs for low-income multifamily housing from this year’s goal of 200,000 to 230,000 in 2017, Reuters reported. Fannie and Freddie would also continue to ensure that low-income families made up 23% of their purchases of single-family home mortgages.

The proposed goals also call for Fannie and Freddie to increase the share of their mortgage refinancing to low-income Americans and increase the share of purchases backing mortgages in low-income areas with large minority populations, Reuters reported.

The goals are sure to cause a stir in Congress. Many Republican legislators blame Fannie’s and Freddie’s policies expanding mortgage access to poor borrowers for helping kick-start the financial crisis.



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